‘Computer Says No’

Except it’s not a computer. It’s my body. And it’s not so much saying ‘no’ as ‘would you kindly fucking stop this triathlon shite, PUHLEASE?’

Being fit and strong and getting faster is supposed to be good for you. It’s not supposed to leave you hobbling about your house like An Elderly while wincing and swearing a-la-tourettes every time your back twinges.

But it’s my own fault.

I’ve been ignoring some niggles. I knew I was tired after the half marathon, so I rested. But not enough. And not until I’d been out on my new bike and thrown my neck out.

Patience is a virtue that I’ve never had.

The niggles have been minor. Mostly leg and calf related. Put down to being overdue some new runners and upping mileage. They’ve been compounded this week by my return to work after holidays. The 5am starts have been met with no enthusiasm whatsoever. By Friday I was nursing The Sniffles. Tanking the multi-vitamins and ensuring a minimum of 7 hours sleep a night has, for now, removed the snot.

My Saturday was actually pretty successful, training wise. A tension and mostly niggle-free 10km run in prep for the EMF 10k next weekend, followed by 3000m in the pool. All was well.

Sunday was to be two short-ish rides. I’m still breaking Stella in on the road, so I’d planned a long-ish lap of the loch in the morning with a quick blast on the MTB at night just to get some extra decent miles in the legs without the saddle-soreness I’d experienced last week (suspension is a marvelous thing…) The first 7 miles were great. The wind was behind me after 3 and I managed the first moderate climb with no troubles apart from the bike being reluctant to slip to the baby ring. (just testing… honest!) I didn’t even break and managed to hit 35mph on the beautiful downhill afterwards. I even SMILED. Usually downhills are spent clinging on for dear life with my mouth firmly shut because midgies.

Then came The First Disaster. I rounded a corner to the Auchmuirbridge climb. It’s a 3rd gear job in a car, and I always pass cyclists who are several shades of purple on this bit, so I changed down to the baby ring in prep, ensuring the chain wasn’t crossed and CLUNK. CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK. Every time I put my foot down, it jumped.

Fuck.

And then pothole. And then soft, squishy verge. The Second Disaster.

I quickly jumped up (having to twist my leg awkwardly to release the tight cleat) and realised that I’d have to push the bike to the top. There was no way I could get back on and start pedaling at the pointy bit of this climb. Especially if it wasn’t going to let me put any kind of power down.

Once the road flattened out the gears and chain were tip top! I even took her right up the gears and gave it welly. No problems! (The cleats have been tightened so much that it cannot be them!)

I then reached Climb to the Church. A Strava Stage I’ve been making decent progress with. I’d run into difficulty here on Wednesday when ‘operator error’ caused the chain to fall off.

The clunking started again. But this time in the big ring. I stopped, ran over to the pavement and called the other half who sleepily instructed me to limp it home carefully.

No further problems coming home. Thankfully.

It wasn’t until I got off the bike in the driveway, and hobbled (more than usual) to the front door, that I realised there was something very wrong. Now, I’m no stranger to back pain. But this was something pretty nasty. Forward bending motion is fine. But I have no backward flexion in my spine AT ALL at the moment. Walking, standing and carrying even a mug of tea is a challenge.

Body is firmly saying ‘no’.

So it’s time to sit down (sort of, that hurts too) and take stock. I know when I get to the start line on August 16th, that I’ll be more grateful of the time I spent recovering and resting, than had I over-trained myself to serious injury.

I shall be seeing PhsyioDan as soon as I can. I shall be feeding my muscles with protein, fat and carbs and I shall be sleeping until a normal time. Even mum’s magic hands couldn’t un-knot the knots this morning. So I know it’s really time to relax a bit. I’ll call this week a taper week for the 10k and remain positive that I’ll be feeling better in time. If not, no biggie. I can support my other half as he takes on Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh.

Until then it’s painkillers, napping, hoping that there is no heavy lifting required at work and a wee swim on Tuesday if the back has eased off at all. And probably some acupuncture and spinal manipulation courtesy of Dan.

Oh. And plenty of hobbling and swearing.

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One thought on “‘Computer Says No’

  1. I need 9 hours. There is no way I could function on 7. Even if I’m not training!

    I hope you are making steady recovery and the mysterious clunking is gone.

    Since I used to work at Cyclefit my first question when someone has injuries/niggles ESPECIALLY after getting a new bike is, have you set it up properly (ie had a bike fit)? It’s a bit more complicated when you’re a triathlete and doing so many other sports, but a new bike is a pretty big change and if you’re already tending a bit towards overtrained then that could be enough to cause some issues…

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